No. 7 Clackamas baseball runs out of gas in 14-9 semifinals loss to No. 14 Canby
A team of destiny doesn't get to the end without breaking a few hearts.
Clackamas High baseball was the next victim on the list for No. 14 Canby baseball as the Cougars used two big innings to down the Cavaliers 14-9 in the semifinals of the Class 6A state tournament Tuesday, May 31, at Clackamas High School.
Canby started the party by hanging up seven runs in the second inning that started with a triple from Kellen Oakes.
Alex Evans singled up the middle to score Oakes and add one more run on a throwing error. Senior Theo Netter was next with a two-RBI double and Bryce Oliver switched places with him in the next at-bat.
Designated hitter Clayton Langdale was next and proved why he's the DH, launching a two-run home run to dead center to make it 7-0 Canby in a blink.
"I'd be lying if I said we've been scoring a lot of runs," Canby coach JJ Stolsig said. "Today we had really good at-bats after the first inning and hit the ball hard. We found ways to get some runs, ran the bases well so today was a big day for us."
With the season on the line and at home in front of a crowd that stretched down both base lines, Clackamas wasn't going down easy.
A couple duds in the bottom of the second and third set the stage for the second trip through the lineup for the Cavaliers, and a second look was all they needed.
Nick Holm started the fun with a one-out double that was followed by three consecutive singles from Maurice Meyers, Ashton MacClanathan and Jacen Rademacher to score two runs.
Garrett Strube broke it open with a two-RBI double to right, followed by a sacrifice fly from Jake Brady.
Trevor Wilson made it six runs on a double to left center and Jackson Jaha tied the game with a RBI single to right.
"We knew going into the game that they weren't going to give up," Canby senior Netter said. "As soon as we scored those seven we told each other, 'They're gonna fight back, they're gonna punch us.'
"It's just about how hard we punch them back, and we punched them pretty good."
The Cougars got to work in the top of the fifth, with plenty of help from the Cavaliers defense.
Canby loaded the bases with one out and scored on a walk, then Netter came through once more with a single to left to bring home another two runs.
A wild pitch would give Canby the 11-7 lead and then a line drive to left was lost in the sun by Clackamas to allow two more runs to cross home.
"(The errors) contributed, but we battled," Clackamas coach JJ Winkle said of some of the late game errors. "Of course if we don't make errors and we don't walk a couple guys, we're gonna win this game … We battled, which I'm proud of because we could have swallowed the olive and not come back."
Rademacher and the Cavaliers already came back once, and he was ready to help do it again with a two-run home run deep to left in the bottom of the fifth to make it 13-9.
However, the Cavs couldn't muster another run in the last two innings and only had one baserunner on a walk in the final two frames. Oakes pitched those innings, giving up no hits and he had a RBI single in the seventh to make it 14-9.
"Those are some good pitchers, and we came out and tied the ball game up," Winkle said. "Just kind of ran out of gas. Credit to them, those guys hung in there, too. They're tough, they swing it and that senior class is pretty good. They know how to win."
There's plenty to still be proud of this season from the Cavs as they finish the year 26-5 overall as Mt. Hood Conference champions.
More importantly, the 2022 class has continued the winning tradition at Clackamas despite a pandemic taking away two of their seasons.
That group is what Winkle and his crew will remember the most from another great year on the diamond.
"They've accomplished a lot and I was fortunate to be able to inherit them," Winkle said. "They made it easy for me. I didn't have to do a lot of coaching with that group. We're going to miss them for sure."
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